Saturday, May 13, 2017

Fatimists disappointed again... yet they are never happy unless disaster strikes.

Is that it?

Part of the 'deformations' of the Fatima message has been the emphasis upon the apocalyptic interpretations of the message, so I imagine many devotees today were disappointed Pope Francis wasn't shot to death as he visited the shrine for the Centenary and the Canonizations this weekend.  

Remember how disappointed Fatima cultists were after the revelation of the third part of the secret.  People claimed there had to be more to it - more text, more condemnation, more names named, and nothing whatsoever condemning Vatican II or the Novus Ordo.  And, and, St. John Paul did NOT mention Russia in his consecration - like he was supposed to do, and, and, and, which Sr. Lucia died?  Her double or the real one with the crooked teeth?  (Sr. Lucia had living relatives who knew her BTW, and visited with her, and they obviously knew there was only one ... but who can talk sense to conspiracy theorists who believe themselves to be more Catholic than the Church?)

Needless to say, the Holy Father's visit visit was obviously 'not good enough' for many Fatima followers and conspiracy theorists, who claim Francis placed himself at the center of the 'secret' when in his prayer before the Madonna he claimed to be 'the bishop in white'.  Actually, he prayed, 'as a bishop in white'.  But they don't really care, right?  It wasn't in Latin.

"All he said was that as a bishop dressed in white, “I call to mind all those who, robe in the splendor of their baptism, desire to live in God and tell the mysteries of Christ in order to obtain peace.” - Source

The Holy Father also corrected the notion that the Blessed Mother is just a harbinger of doom ...

After asking the faithful of “which Mary?” were they pilgrims, the pope spoke of several, contrasting different ways in which Catholics sometimes perceive the mother of God: There are those who follow the one who was “blessed because she believed,” and those who believe in a “plaster statue” from whom “we beg favors at little cost.” There’s the Mary venerated by the Church, Francis said, but also one “of our own making: One who restrains the arm of a vengeful God; one sweeter than Jesus the ruthless judge; one more merciful than the Lamb slain for us.” - Source

We need to abandon the strange distortions and corruptions of the message of Fatima, and respond to the authentic call of Fatima, the example of which is manifested in the lives of St. Jacinta and St. Francisco.  As the Holy Father pointed out in his homily:
We can take as our examples Saint Francisco and Saint Jacinta, whom the Virgin Mary introduced into the immense ocean of God’s light and taught to adore him. That was the source of their strength in overcoming opposition and suffering. God’s presence became constant in their lives, as is evident from their insistent prayers for sinners and their desire to remain ever near “the hidden Jesus” in the tabernacle.
Indeed, God created us to be a source of hope for others, a true and attainable hope, in accordance with each person’s state of life. In “asking” and “demanding” of each of us the fulfillment of the duties of our proper state (Letters of Sister Lucia, 28 February 1943), God effects a general mobilization against the indifference that chills the heart and worsens our myopia. We do not want to be a stillborn hope! Life can survive only because of the generosity of other lives. “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (Jn 12:24). The Lord, who always goes before us, said this and did this. Whenever we experience the cross, he has already experienced it before us. We do not mount the cross to find Jesus. Instead it was he who, in his self-abasement, descended even to the cross, in order to find us, to dispel the darkness of evil within us, and to bring us back to the light. - Vatican Radio

The message of Fatima belongs to the Church and the Church has revealed the contents of the message and 'secrets' and has reaffirmed the essential message 'repent and believe' and 'produce good fruits as evidence of your repentance': Keep the commandments, pray and sacrifice yourself for sinners, pray for the conversion of sinners and make reparation to God who is greatly offended.

Fatima is not a side show, it is not mystery theater or a scary amusement park or carnival house of horrors.  People put words on Our Lady's lips, they claim she comes elsewhere to tell her message because the Church has ignored her requests.  Four Popes have gone to Fatima, to affirm the message, to thank God for the light shown there, which illuminates the entire Church, the Body of Christ.  The Church has so not ignored Our Lady's requests.

Ignore the Fatimists, do not listen to the cult surrounding the false prophets who deform and misrepresent Our Lady's message from heaven.

Remember, the Holy Father, the Pope, the Bishop of Rome, is indeed at the center of the message and secret of Fatima; the Mother of God directs us always to Christ, and does not act outside the Church - the Holy Father is Christ's vicar entrusted to guide the Church by Christ himself.  Our Lady is Mother of the Church.  She cannot and will not go against the Church.

"Dear pilgrims, we have a Mother. Clinging to her like children, we live in the hope that rests on Jesus." - Pope Francis

Fatima Carnival Fright House
-Now Closed-

Friday, May 12, 2017

Prayer of Pope Francis at Fatima ... as a bishop robed in white.

The Holy Father:
Hail Holy Queen,
Blessed Virgin of Fatima,
Lady of Immaculate Heart,
our refuge and our way to God!
As a pilgrim of the Light that comes to us from your hands,
I give thanks to God the Father, who in every time and place
is at work in human history;
As a pilgrim of the Peace that, in this place, you proclaim,
I give praise to Christ, our peace, and I implore for the world
concord among all peoples;
As a pilgrim of the Hope that the Spirit awakens,
I come as a prophet and messenger to wash the feet of all,
at the same table that unites us.
Refrain (sung by the assembly):
Ave O Clemens, Ave O pia!
Salve Regina Rosarii Fatimae.
Ave O clemens, Ave O pia!
Ave O dulcis Virgo Maria!
The Holy Father:
Hail, Mother of Mercy,
Lady robed in white!
In this place where, a hundred years ago
you made known to all the purposes of God’s mercy,
I gaze at your robe of light
and, as a bishop robed in white,
I call to mind all those who,
robed in the splendour of their baptism,
desire to live in God
and tell the mysteries of Christ in order to obtain peace.
The Holy Father:
Hail, life and sweetness,
Hail, our hope,
O Pilgrim Virgin, O Universal Queen!
In the depths of your being,
in your Immaculate Heart,
you keep the joys of men and women
as they journey to the Heavenly Homeland.
In the depths of your being,
in your Immaculate Heart,
you keep the sorrows of the human family,
as they mourn and weep in this valley of tears.
In the depths of your being,
in your Immaculate Heart,
adorn us with the radiance of the jewels of your crown
and make us pilgrims, even as you were a pilgrim.
With your virginal smile,
enliven the joy of Christ’s Church.
With your gaze of sweetness,
strengthen the hope of God’s children.
With your hands lifted in prayer to the Lord,
draw all people together into one human family.
The Holy Father:
O clement, O loving,
O sweet Virgin Mary,
Queen of the Rosary of Fatima!
Grant that we may follow the example of Blessed Francisco and Blessed Jacinta,
and of all who devote themselves to proclaiming the Gospel.
Thus we will follow all paths
and everywhere make our pilgrim way;
we will tear down all walls
and cross every frontier,
as we go out to every periphery,
to make known God’s justice and peace.
In the joy of the Gospel, we will be the Church robed in white,
the whiteness washed in the blood of the Lamb,
blood that today too is shed in the wars tearing our world apart.
And so we will be, like you, an image of the column of light
that illumines the ways of the world,
making God known to all,
making known to all that God exists,
that God dwells in the midst of his people,
yesterday, today and for all eternity.
The Holy Father, with all the faithful:
Hail, Mother of the Lord,
Virgin Mary, Queen of the Rosary of Fatima!
Blessed among all women,
you are the image of the Church robed in paschal light,
you are the honour of our people,
you are the victory over every assault of evil.
Prophecy of the merciful love of the Father,
Teacher of the Message of Good News of the Son,
Sign of the burning Fire of the Holy Spirit,
teach us, in this valley of joys and sorrows,
the eternal truths that the Father reveals to the little ones.
Show us the strength of your protective mantle.
In your Immaculate Heart,
be the refuge of sinners
and the way that leads to God.
In union with my brothers and sisters,
in faith, in hope and in love,
I entrust myself to you.
In union with my brothers and sisters, through you, I consecrate myself to God,
O Virgin of the Rosary of Fatima.
And at last, enveloped in the Light that comes from your hands,
I will give glory to the Lord for ever and ever.

Fatima Vigil on the 100th Anniversary.

100 years ago Our Lady, the Holy Shepherdess, appeared to three little shepherd children.

I'm so happy Pope Francis is there, that the kids will be canonized - on the exact day of the first apparition - when Our Lady promised to take them to heaven.  Everyone in heaven is a saint ...  Our Lady took them to heaven and the Church affirms that in the canonization.

I've never really thought of Fatima in terms of the end of the world, but rather an intervention of the Mother of God - very much like the signs and prophecies of the Old Testament - to call humanity to reform their lives, to amend their lives, to repent and be converted, because God is so gravely and consistently offended in modern times.  God loves us and sent his Mother - the Mother of Jesus - to call us to repentance and devotion through acts of penance and reparation.  God has revealed the Blessed Virgin as the Great Sign to the world - the revelation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary as our refuge and way that will lead us to God is for me at the heart of the message of Fatima.  Her Immaculate Heart is the paradise of God, the garden enclosed, at the center of which is the tree of life, Jesus Christ - our way, our truth and our life.

St. Louis de Montfort explains what I am trying to say more clearly and doctrinally:

Mary is God's garden of Paradise, his own unspeakable world, into which his Son entered to do wonderful things, to tend it and to take his delight in it. He created a world for the wayfarer, that is, the one we are living in. He created a second world - Paradise - for the Blessed. He created a third for himself, which he named Mary. She is a world unknown to most mortals here on earth. Even the angels and saints in heaven find her incomprehensible, and are lost in admiration of a God who is so exalted and so far above them, so distant from them, and so enclosed in Mary, his chosen world, that they exclaim: "Holy, holy, holy" unceasingly.
[T]here is no place where God can be more present to his creature and more sympathetic to human weakness than in Mary. It was indeed for this very purpose that he came down from heaven. Everywhere else he is the Bread of the strong and the Bread of angels, but living in Mary he is the Bread of children. - Secret of Mary

Don't associate the Blessed Virgin with doom and gloom.  Don't make up or pay attention to stories and conspiracy theories about the Blessed Virgin and her messages, don't buy into the cultish lies and speculations, or the anti-papist, anti-clerical secrets claimed to be embedded in approved texts.  That is sinful and does not make reparation for the sins committed against Our Lady's Immaculate Heart.

St. Francisco, St. Jacinta, pray for us.

May 12: St. Leopold Mandic

"A priest must die from apostolic hard work; 
there is no other death worthy of a priest." - St. Leopold

Always an ardent student of Mariology, Padre Leopoldo wrote on a picture of the Blessed Virgin in 1927: "I. Fr. Leopoldo Mandie Zarevic. believe that the Blessed Virgin as Co-Redemptress of the human race is the moral cause of all grace - everything we receive comes from her fullness. "On one occasion he solemnly wrote: "The August Mother of God is in truth Co-Redemptress of the human race and source of all Grace. In fact, on the one hand we have in her the most perfect obedience to God's laws and, after her Son, the most perfect innocence: He, impeccable by His nature, she, impeccable by Grace. On the other hand we see her as Our Lady of Sorrows, as He was the Man of Sorrows. If, therefore, by eternal decree of God, the Immaculate Virgin was the moral victim of sorrow as her Son was the physical victim, and if God's avenging Justice found no shadow of fault in them, it follows: inevitably that they were paying the price of the sins of others, that is of mankind."

I wish I had a priest like St. Leopold.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

What is wrong with this picture?

United States press was shut out, but Russian press was in the room.

Just after Comey was accelerating the investigation of Russian influence on the election of the president ... and just after Comey was fired.

What amazes me is how Trump supporters, many of them Catholic, overlook things like this.  Remember how many of these same people called out Obama and circulated all of the conspiracy theories right-wingnuts drummed up about him.  I may be wrong, but not a few among those Catholics who support(ed) Trump also buy into the conspiracy theories circulated about Pope Francis.

I don't get it.  Something is so wrong.

I lived through Nixon - I don't want to be fooled again.

There's something happening here but what it is ain't exactly clear...

Song for this post here.

Something we don't think about ...

Chaplain Fr. Josef Perau 
distributes Communion
to Nazi soldiers.

The position of chaplain in the Nazi army was one characterized by moral dilemmas and obvious contradictions ...
The chaplains officially held the rank of Major within the Wehrmacht and were clothed as such. They did not, however, wear epaulets as other officers did, but they did wear an armband with a purple stripe in between two white stripes on which a red cross was placed. In addition to this, they also wore a cross, plain metal for Protestants and wooden with a corpus Christi for the Catholics. They also wore a pistol on the hip, which they were allowed to use for self-defense and for the defense of the wounded, but not in offensive actions, as per the sections of the Geneva Convention pertaining to health workers. The chaplains were often uncomfortable with these uniforms, owing to their similarity with those of the SS. While the supervision of each chaplain was undoubtedly different, the Church encouraged chaplains to speak along certain lines. Specifically, they were advised to "keep it short and simple" doctrinally. Topics such as the Bolshevik threat and "the avoidance of sexual adventure" were encouraged, but "no word about anti-Semitism or about conflicts between command and conscience" was to be spoken.
The Nazi state's relationship to the churches within Germany was oppressive, not friendly. The government and Party both strove to change society in ways that were destructive to the Church. Controlling the chaplaincy was important for both sides, so it was highly regulated. - Source

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Devotion to the Sacred Heart

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. 
Not as the world gives do I give to you.

Try to have, my beloved brother, a divine and heavenly peace in your heart. I do not speak of peace with others, called by another name, charity; for that I repeat (the words) of the Apostle to the Thessalonians: Now concerning love of the brothers, you do not need to have anyone write to you, for your yourselves have been taught by God to love one another (1 Thessalonians 4:9). I speak of peace within one’s own heart, which often is the greater struggle for us, arousing in the soul a thousand disturbances, anguishes, and disquiet with which the demon succeeds in his aim of thwarting us in the way of perfection. 
The distinguishing characteristic of the friends of God consists in this interior peace, which Christ so often recommended to his disciples, repeating: Peace be with you (Luke
10:5; 24:36) for he is called “Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). Disturbance, on the contrary, is characteristic of reprobates: There is no peace for the wicked. (Isaiah 48:22). Jesus cannot abide where there is no peace. - Bl. Bernardo

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

My sheep hear my voice ... I know them ... and they follow me.

No one can take them out of my hand. 

Gays are sometimes like sheep without a shepherd, and I'll tell you why ...

I say that because of the weird stuff being said about Fr. Martin's recent book, "Building a Bridge" about bringing together LGBT Catholics and the institutional church, and which includes spiritual resources for LGBT Catholics.  The book hasn't even been released yet and some people online are calling for the USCCB to condemn it.  I haven't read it, and most likely will not, simply because I've pretty much worked everything out in my life as far as that issue goes.  (I'm old.)  And no one needs to know what I think or how I've made it through that labyrinth - besides, in the 10+ years I've been online, I've written about it extensively and see no need to repeat myself, and very few are interested.

Except to make an observation.

The problem some gay and ssa Catholics seem to have these days is that good priests like Fr. Martin, S.J., and bishops and cardinals like Tobin and Farrell are willing to talk, dialogue, and welcome LGBT persons into some sort of communion with the Church.  That's the Church's mission BTW - to call sinners to repentance and reconciliation.  The Church is full of sinners.  The Catholic Church has had a bad reputation with gay people and gay people need to know the Church is not out to kill them or throw them off the roof and stone them to death like ISIS does.  True, some Catholics don't want you in their circle, but there are good pastors who want to dispel such fears.  In fact the Catholic Church welcomes all types of sinners and eats with them... gay or straight or even the mean and nasty.

To be sure, there are some who insist that homosexual acts are not sinful, but that is not Catholic teaching - those voices are thieves and marauders which lead sheep astray, give false hope and false security.  Sheep know the voice of their shepherd - if their conscience is not asleep or obstructed by the roar of the crowd.  Sometimes shepherds make mistakes, but sheep have the Word at their fingertips.  Thieves and marauders may advance, but the Good Shepherd, the Church and her sacraments are there to rescue the sheep.

The shepherd says: I pity the one who draws himself back from my love.

So, if you are confused, if you don't understand Catholic teaching, go to the Catechism, read the Church documents  - especially the CDF instructions regarding homosexuality.  If you don't recognize the voices online or in publications regarding issues of faith and morals, don't go there - don't read them.  It's that simple.  The Church cannot teach error.  If your conscience is well formed, one can read what they like to glean insight on this or that question.  It is always good to know all sides in a discussion.

Sometimes, some pastors may be and can be mistaken about methods, and sheep can be misled, but in the end, the Holy Spirit will correct them - and the rest of us.  We need to trust the Holy Spirit.

If you are the type who desires to form an inquisition, expose errors, and so on, make sure you have all the facts, avoiding detraction, slander and calumny, and do so with humility and charity.  It seems to me not many critical Catholics online cultivate those virtues.  Be faithful to Catholic teaching and be kind and respect others who are on the way.

Fr. Martin has been ministering to people on the peripheries, including members of the LGBT community for a very long time.  I can disagree with some things he says, but I recognize that he is following Christ and desires to bring Christ to those who have been misled into believing Christ, God, hates them.  That is a far worse error.

“In too many parts of our church LGBT people have been made to feel unwelcome, excluded, and even shamed. Father Martin’s brave, prophetic, and inspiring new book marks an essential step in inviting church leaders to minister with more compassion, and in reminding LGBT Catholics that they are as much a part of our church as any other Catholic.” - Cardinal Tobin

A story of another priest, Fr. Mychal Judge, OFM - a lone young shepherd ...

A lone young shepherd lived in pain
Withdrawn from pleasure and contentment,
His thoughts fixed on a shepherd-girl
His heart an open wound with love.

He weeps, but not from the wound of love,
There is no pain in such a wound
However deeply it opens the heart;
He weeps in knowing he’s been forgotten.

That one thought: his shining one
Has forgotten him is such great pain
That he gives himself up to brutal handling in a foreign land,
His heart an open wound with love.

The shepherd says: I pity the one
Who draws himself back from my love,
And does not seek the joy of my presence,
Though my heart is an open wound with love for him.

After a long time he climbed a tree,
And spread his shining arms,
And hung by them, and died,
His heart an open wound with love.
St. John of the Cross

Fr. Mychal Judge, OFM

Fr Mychal had a little prayer that he continually prayed and lived; he had copies made and distributed the prayer to any who needed words on their journey to God.  Here it is: "Lord, take me where you want me to go. Let me meet those who you want me to meet.  Tell me what you want me to say,  And keep me out of your way."  God answered that prayer, not only on 9/11 but throughout his life. Fr Mychal struggled with alcoholism, a not unheard of addiction in the lives of many Irish.  When he got into recovery he used his experience with the bottle to help many, many men and women who had the same addiction.  He had a special care for AIDS patients: when one man dying of the disease asked Fr Judge if God hated him, the priest's response was to kiss him, gather him in his arms and rock him.  He met who he was supposed to meet, said what God wanted him to say and did his best to stay out of God's way. - h/t Fr. PD

I think Fr. Martin does that too. He does his best to stay out of God's way - and I love him for it.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Apparition of St. Michael Archangel - May 8

An apparition which 
encouraged devotion to St. Michael in Italy, 
took place on Mount Gargano, in Apulia; 
it is the one honored by today's Feast.

A celebrated apparition of the Archangel took place, under the Pontificate of Gelasius I, in Apulia, on the top of Mount Gargano, at whose foot lies the town of Siponto.
A bull belonging to a man who lived on the mountain, having strayed from the herd, was, after much searching, found hemmed fast in the mouth of a cave. One of its pursuers shot an arrow, with a view to rouse the animal by a wound; but the arrow rebounding struck him that sent it. This circumstance excited so much fear in the bystanders and in them who heard of it, that no one dared to go near the cave. The inhabitants of Siponto, therefore, consulted the Bishop; he answered that in order to know God's will, they must spend three days in fasting and prayer.
At the end of the three days, the Archangel Michael warned the Bishop that the place was under his protection, and that what had occurred was an indication of his will that God should be worshiped there, in honor of himself and the Angels. Whereupon the Bishop repaired to the cave, together with his people. They found it like a church in shape, and began to use it for the celebration of the divine offices (see image below). Many miracles were afterward wrought there. Not long after, Pope Boniface dedicated a church in honor of St. Michael in the great Circus of Rome, on the third of the Kalends of October (September 29), the day on which the Church celebrates the memory of all the Angels. But today's Feast is kept in commemoration of the Apparition of St. Michael the Archangel. - Source

Michael, the Angel of Fatima

Some believe the Angel of Fatima was St. Michael Archangel, since he is the Guardian Angel of Portugal, and is commemorated in the liturgy as the Angel of Peace, he is also considered to be the defender of the Eucharist.  All three attributes were revealed by the Angel of Fatima.

King Alfonso Henriques, founder of the nation and of the dynasty, was baptised in a chapel dedicated to St. Michael and chose the Archangel as protector of his armies and realm. Since then, the Chapel of the royal Palace has always been dedicated to him. The national devotion to the Archangel was such that, in 1514 Manuel I asked Pope Leo X to grant his nation a Feast for “ the Guardian Angel of Portugal ”. It was celebrated in July. At the national monastery of Batalha, the Portuguese Saint-Denis, where the Kings of the Avis dynasty are buried, St. Michael, guardian angel of Portugal, was prayed daily. - Read more here.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Mother of the Good Shepherd, Divina Pastora

Notice the Archangel guarding the gate of the garden
with the flaming sword. Everything goes back to Genesis.
Christ is the Gate 
- he came to save the lost -
that they may enter and have life.
Divina Pastora
the new Eve,
pray for us. 

Our Lady is venerated in Venezuela with the title, Divina Pastora.  Perhaps prayers this Good Shepherd Sunday could be said for Venezuela, suffering from poverty and starvation.  Venezuela is starving.

Venezuela is starving.
has a mission in Venezuela,
but I haven't noticed any appeal 
 for the people there.

Prayer to La Virgen Divina Pastora

Oh Mary, our Mother, La Virgen Divina Pastora, thank you for the graces that enable us to know Jesus, your Son, more deeply. May your shining example guide us on our pilgrimage towards finding peace in our lives. We beseech your Son, Jesus Christ, to grant our fervent prayers and petitions through your maternal intercession. Thank you dearest Mother for constantly protecting our community, family and country. We implore you our Mother to continue leading as to Jesus, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, now and forever. Amen.

Virgen Divina Pastora,
pray for us!